Daytrip to Liverpool

Liverpool is a great city for a sneaky weekend away and while it might be more famous for pop and perms (as well as the frightening development of The Scouse Brow ) it also has some really cool galleries that are well worth a peek.

The Open Eye Gallery is the only gallery dedicated to photography in the north west and is split over two floors. Small but perfectly formed, there are some interesting exhibitions coming up there including the works of late, great Liverpool photographer Tim Hetherington of soldiers in Afghanistan.

20130824_115305

Outside the Museum of Liverpool (which is a lovely modern building and has some fascinating exhibitions on the slave trade) are these gorgeous little fellas – Super Lambanas!

image

As well as being cute and cheery, they tell the tale of Liverpool’s history as the first international city – importing bananas from the Caribbean and exporting wool from Lancashire.  I think they are gorgeous.

Superlambanana

Just around the corner at the famous docks is Tate Liverpool, which means I have finally been to all the Tates (Liverpool, St Ives, Britain, Modern) yay! Like all the Tates, it is beautifully designed and is full of treats. LOVE these floating frames in the middle of the room.

imageThe exhibitions are organised as “constellations” with certain pieces, say by Man Ray or Jackson Pollock, acting as “trigger” pieces to set off a constellation of inspiration and more beautiful works. Very clever, very cool.

tate chandelier

It’s not all culture though. We did some classic Liverpool tricks too by watching Everton not score a goal, having shots in my fav northern cheapy chain Baa Bar and we even saw Brookie heart throb Tinhead on the train home. Amazing scenes!

 

Advertisements

A little trip to…Biarritz, France

A lot has been going on in Night Bus towers at the mo, with a ton of work but an awful lot of playing out too. One of the fun things and something I have to tell you all about is our recent little jolly to Biarritz in the south of France. You may remember me saying how I needed sunshine, wine and rest. Well…

biarritz surfers

We got two of the three, which as Meatloaf says, ain’t bad. In fact, the weather was so grim when we arrived that the pilot had to do two attempts at landing the plane! It was kinda terrifying and I’m a pretty sturdy girl when I comes to stuff like that. Anyway, the weather did improve a bit as time went by.

biarritz coast

Biarritz is a great little city (and it is little) for a mini break, and you can fly there regularly from London. Everything is in walking distance, the people are so kind and welcoming (even when your French is appalling) and the food is fantastic.

Here is Al with some of the gorgeous Basque tapas we shared as a starter in Bar Jean, a great little spot in our adopted neighbourhood. The Basque region covers both France and Spain and you basically get the best of both national cuisines.

Bar Jean

And of course, being right on the Atlantic means a ton of amazing seafood. Here is Al again with our platter of oysters we had at La Cabane A Huitres. Wowsa to both food and Basque wine. And the staff here are so cool and friendly – this part of town has a really great, youthful vibe. GO VISIT.

biarritz oysters

As it was rainy, we saw some seafood outside of the plate context at the super fun Musee de la Mer aquarium. Maybe some people would see that as more “school trip” than “romantic break” but hey! We like to learn stuff on holiday! Plus, the jellyfish are hauntingly pretty.

jellyfish

We stayed in an Air BnB studio (“Biarritz in the Basque Country”) which was lovely and bright with everything two people need for a mini break. I got quite attached to my little seat next to the Juliette balcony which was over the most delicious smelling bakery.

Me biarritz

Our last night was pretty spectacular. We climbed a little fence to sit on our own little rocky bit of the coast line and watch the sunset. A great end to a great break, and one I’d totally recommend for a few days outside of London.

Biarritz sunset

All photographs from my Instagram feed @rachaelgormley

Au Revoir, we’re off to Biarritz

My final exam is done and dusted and we are off to Biarritz for a few days of great wine, great food and relaxation. I’ll be sure to let you know what the best bits of the city are when I get back.

Me croissant

I’m also really excited about the pastries. So glad that I did a hardcore Bikram yoga regime in the run up to this trip so I can undo all my good work with cheese and butter. NOMS.

Queen of the Night Bus xxxx